Monday, September 3, 2012

Use Me!

THAT is our cry.  We want to be used by our Lord Jesus and can I tell you it feels OH SO GOOD!  Thank you Lord for using a group of sinners, such as our family, to be your hands to the hurting world. 

We are FAR from perfect, we make mistakes and we, at times, crumple in the face of evangelism but yet you call us and allow us to love your people for your glory. 

I've been filling in for a friend when she can't make it to the hospital to pray over her Muslim friend who is in the ICU.  We've been bold and pray in Jesus name and have been asking for healing, for him to call out to our Lord because we care about his eternal destiny.  We care so much that there is a yearning in our hearts that can't let one day go by without one of us seeing him and sharing the Good News. 

Worldly speaking I have no reason to have concern for this man.  I just met him on Saturday, when God grants him full recovery he will go back to Kuwait, he is different from me in many ways.  YET, there is such a burden on my heart for his soul. 

As I was walking down the hall to his room I passed a distraught couple.  I barely noticed them as I was praying, "Lord, go before me!"  As I was past them some way my memory jogged and I called out her name.  It was the parents of neighbor friends I had grown up with back in my hometown.  We embraced and I quickly learned her youngest was in a serious motorcycle accident the day before and his passenger had died. 

Great pain.

Huge heartache. 

I was here, I was called at this exact moment to pass them by as they stood in the hall.  SO many perfect "coincidences" had to line up for this God-meeting.  Timing, the direction of how they were standing, the officer calling them to the hall at that moment, my friend not coming to visit the ICU, me filling in for her on a holiday when my husband had taken the kids so I could get a few things done around the house... being obedient to His plan verses my own plan. 

Yes God, use me!  So now I have two reasons to visit the ICU and they are to care for the hurting in their lowest of time. 

May we all desire to be used and to put off our own plans for then we have amazing God-stories to share! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Scales Fall

When the Lord allows us to see things, to know the truth and the scales fall from our eyes, we then have an obligation of obedience.  We are at that crossroad and know that it is time to act and give a voice to the orphan, to those in need in India.  As we've been praying about how this would look and how best to show what is on our hearts, God, in His sovereignty, has given us an avenue that is beyond wonderful. 

We have been in contact with the producers of the new documentary film; Mother India; Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan and have agreed to host viewings of the film.  If your small group, church or organization would be interested in having an event, we would come, share our experience, show the film and bring an array of ways in which you can become intimately involved in sharing Christ with orphans in India. 

Watch the trailer and may your hearts too be never the same!

Monday, July 9, 2012

How Many Mommies?

For four and a half years Punya lived in an environment where there was eleven different care-givers that came in and out of her life.  They fed her, clothed her, bathed her, assisted her, taking care of her needs.  Is it no wonder that, though the title has changed from "Auntie" to "Mommy" she is having a hard time figuring out who this term is for?  A bit hard for this Momma to stomach a first, she calls everyone who cares for her in some way "Mom".  I first noticed it when she was over the fence at the neighbor's for about fifteen minutes, then it was her sisters.  We've had to ask our dear friends to give us more time to adjust and regroup as a family.  This we know is just one of the learning curves with older-child adoption and there will be plenty more ahead of us.  Thank you to our loving family and friends who are painfully holding back and helping us, help Punya figure out the difference between family and friends. 

Some specific ways you can help:

1) Allow her immediate family to touch only; hugs, kisses and holding need to belong here for an unknown amount of time.  High fives are great!  She will reach for hugs from everyone so be completely comfortable telling her friends high five and steering her back to us for anything else.

2) Allow us to feed her.  If food is offered, allow us to hand it to her, give her the plate, etc.  She needs to know that her immediate family will meet her physical needs.

3) Don't worry at all if you forget, I do too!  If either of us remembers just say it to her; "Oops, no hugs from friends, high five me instead!" 

4) Pray that God will help us meet her heart needs and see/sense what she cannot tell us.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cashiers Here We Come!

So, we have now RARELY missed a chance to offer prayer to people we meet while checking out.  We have also received the entire spectrum of responses to our question; "Is there anything we can pray for you?"  It has been such a good growing experience for us.  We have a notebook we keep in the car and listed are all the people, their situations, their requests or responses and my personal notes.  Before we re-enter a store, we'll review our list and hope we run into the same people. 

What I have found most interesting is how deep that question will take a usually dry, polite chat of the weather.  We are praying for babies being formed in the womb by our Maker, new beginnings as young adults prepare to go off to college, a daughter's distress for a mother who refuses to pray, a man who thinks "it's all good, I don't need prayer", a young mom who is trying to manage a young daughter, a Sunday School teacher who wants to connect with her students but has a child that needs much of her attention and many more.  What is also a delight is really connecting with people!  Being able to say their name and see their eyes shine that we remembered them and cared to ask about how their particular issue was going. 

My friend "took that challenge" as she called it and her interaction has resulted in being a "BRINGER" to church; pray that Nikita will indeed come this Sunday! 

Believe that every interaction was a God-designed stop along your day, you are Him to that person; show it! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baker's Grocery

We get our kids involved in the ministry plans because it will hold us accountable.  Remember that we have been trying to pray for the people we meet in the stores.  Can I tell you this is still a work in progress for me?  UGH!  There are just times I pretend to forget, all the while knowing that I should ask.  And, it hasn't totally disappointed me that I've been cooped up in the house for almost three weeks so I haven't been to any stores.  My girls will eventually remember our prayer plan and I'll have some lame excuse; "Oh, we should have asked before we walked away!" or "Don't interrupt Mom while I am talking to the clerk."  Fully knowing they are trying to remind me to ask them about prayer. 

But thank you Lord for your grace and for Pastor Theimer's comment a long while back.  Baby steps!  If we keep doing something that is uncomfortable now, it will eventually become comfortable.  We might even forget that at one point we struggled with the idea. 

So, while giving my lame excuse at McDonald's, where we enjoyed a cone, I prayed for boldness as we turned up the street to Baker's grocery.  I determined I was going to ask and I all but blurted it out!

Me: "We pray for those we meet in the store, is there anything you want us to pray about?" 
Clerk: "Yes!  My boyfriend was just sent to prison on Monday."
Me: "How are you doing with that?"
Clerk: "I tear up a lot!"
Me: "It just so happens that my pastor was in prison."
Clerk: "Really?  Where is your church?"
Me: "30th & Lake"
Clerk: "I live right near there!"
Me: "You should come!"
Clerk: "What time is the service?"
Me: "10:00 a.m.!"
Clerk: "Thank you SO much!"

So by now we are more than done and bag gathered we say we'll pray.  Ecstatically we bop to the car and share the interaction with the family.  We all pray and then write her a note that Jon and two of the girls carry back to her. 

Bridge Church
30th & Lake
10:00 a.m.
Pastor Myron Pierce
(200 year prison sentence)
Pastor Josh Dotzler
Please come!
Jenn (and I include phone number)

Take a moment and pray that she will come. 
I know God will meet her there and begin to heal her heart. 

 Our God is so very faithful!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Saw Him Do It!

A bright, red sparkly bag with white tissue paper was waiting on the trash can.  Attached was a note that read, "WARNING!  Yummy treats hidden inside.  Enjoy!  Have a blessed day!"  Jon had gotten it outside nice and early for us.  We peered outside the window at the sound of those familiar brakes and saw the entire scene.  The truck pulled up and the man on the back jumped off as usual but he stopped and picked up the bag as if it were a bomb.  He turned it around and then read the note, running the bag to the front cabin.  After emptying the trash he did something we've NEVER had happen before.  He OH, SO KINDLY brought our can up to the garage and ran off. 

See that?  The ripple effect!  Love can bring a domino effect of more love out-poured. 

We are already planning a strategy for next week but have a BIG BREAKFAST TO-GO box planned for a few weeks out.  AND we have to get to know their names! 


Lord, prepare their hearts even now for you.  May your Holy Spirit be tilling the soil that they will be open and receptive to that seed of faith in You Jesus! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reaching Out

OK!  After several weeks of trying to keep up with life and the tasks at hand we feel we are ready to turn the corner and dig in.  We are ready to be used and poured out.  We can't wait actually, feel like a bird in a bird cage ready to be let loose.  I feel God has been speaking to us about praying into areas where we can serve right where we are; no longer waiting.  I am hearing His voice about this in every area I turn. 

Please share your cool ideas of how you minister to others, with your family, right where you are.  I would love to hear them and be challenged in new ways and ideas!

I'll share that we have enjoyed loving on our mail carrier.  Mr. Craig will usually find a treat and a note in the mailbox 1-2 times a week.  We even went so far as to make up a questionnaire for him to find out his favs; favorite treat, favorite drink in the cold, favorite drink in the heat, when his birthday is so we could extra splurge on him.  AND you know what?   He said, "I've never seen a nicer family!"  Now, I don't say that to brag on us a bit, I almost want to leave that out BUT we must know it because that is the point.  If we love the way Christ asks us to it will not look normal, it will look radically different and people will notice.  They will feel a love that they rarely, if ever see.  SO, let's love away people! 

We are getting up early tomorrow at this house because it is trash, recycling and lawn waste pick-up.  That is THREE sets of people coming right to our driveway and we are going to be waiting for them!  How often do they get loved on???  Come on now, let's make it a point to have a treat waiting for them too! 

Share away!  I (and I'm sure others) will enjoy your great ideas!